Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 12, 1886

Chapman, Sister

Basel, Switzerland

December 27, 1886

Portions of this letter are published in 4BC 1161; 6MR 256.

Dear Sister [Chapman]:

On returning from Tramelan, Switzerland, letters were awaiting me from California. I was much pleased to receive a letter from you. I thank you for responding, for now I will write again. 4LtMs, Lt 12, 1886, par. 1

You speak of your daughter’s going to Snell’s Seminary. Permit me to speak freely and kindly to you on this point. If God has in His providence established a school among our own people in Healdsburg, and if in the place of sending your daughter where she would be under the influence, and in the society of those who love the truth, place her where she will be associated with a worldly class who has no respect for God or His law, I ask you how you expect the Lord will work to counteract the influence that must surround your daughter and which you voluntarily choose. Will He commission His angels to do the work which He has left for you to do? God does not do for any of us the work He has left for us to do. He expects us to follow the light He has given in His Word to the very letter. 4LtMs, Lt 12, 1886, par. 2

He commanded the children of Israel to gather their children from the Egyptians into their own dwellings and strike their doorposts with blood, that the destroying angels might see the blood and pass over their homes. This is your work, this is my work, and the work of every mother who believes the truth. The angel with the writer’s inkhorn is to place a mark upon the foreheads of all who are separated from sin and sinners, and the destroying angel follows this angel. 4LtMs, Lt 12, 1886, par. 3

The enemy has had his way with your daughter until his bands have bound her about like bands of steel, and it will require a strong and persevering effort to save her soul. If you have success in this case, no halfway work will do. The habits of years cannot easily be broken up. She should be placed where there is a steady, firm, abiding influence constantly exercised. If I were in your place, I would do all I could. I should put her in the college at Healdsburg; let her have the discipline of the boarding house. It is where she ought to have been years ago. God is not pleased with our inattention and trifling with His blessings placed within our reach. Neither is He pleased to have us place our children in worldly society because this suits their tastes and inclinations better. If you save the souls of your children, you must do your work with fidelity. You have encouraged the reading of story books, and papers with continued stories lying upon your tables have educated and trained the tastes and appetite of your daughter until she is a mental inebriate and needs a stronger power and will than her own to hold her. 4LtMs, Lt 12, 1886, par. 4

The boarding house in Healdsburg is a good home. It has good influences. It is conducted upon a plan that makes it a home. It is true that those who have been educated to false habits and false theories, to self-indulgence and selfish gratification, may feel that it does not suit their inclination because all their habits and customs have been in a wrong channel. But my dear sister, we are nearing the end of time, and we want now, not to meet the world’s taste, the world’s habits and practices, but to meet the mind of God, to see what saith the Scriptures, and then to walk according to the light that God has given us. Our inclinations, our customs and practices, are not to have the preferences. God’s Word is our standard. 4LtMs, Lt 12, 1886, par. 5

I know that were your daughter my child, I should place her in the school at Healdsburg. As far as her health is concerned, right habits and right practices will secure to her health, while wrong habits and practices ruin her for this life and for the future immortal life. There is a heaven to gain, a perdition to shun, and when you in the fear of God have done all that you can do on your part, then you may expect that the Lord will do His part. But decisive action now may save a soul from death. I do not like the movement on your part of sending her either to Oakland or Snell’s Seminary. She needs a strong influence to counteract the influence of the society she loves. She needs just as decided efforts in her case to cure her of this mental disorder as does the drunkard to be cured from his craving for liquor. I know what I am talking about. I write these words in the fear of God. 4LtMs, Lt 12, 1886, par. 6

You have a work to do which no other can do for you, and will you fail to do it? God has not been pleased with your work in many respects in regard to your worldly associations, and now the danger stands revealed. Will you in the name of the Lord deal with your child as with a soul in danger of eternal ruin? Were she a girl of self-control, a girl who loved God, her danger would not be so great. She does not love to think of God, or her duty, or of heaven. She has a firm persistence in having her own way. She does not seek strength daily from God in order that she may resist temptation, and then will you place her in connection with influences calculated to lead her thoughts away from God, away from the truth and righteousness? If so, you place her on the enemy’s battleground, with no strength to resist his power, or overcome his temptations. 4LtMs, Lt 12, 1886, par. 7

If she were situated where there were heavenly and divine influences, her moral sensibilities which are now paralyzed might be aroused and her thoughts and purposes, by the blessing of God, might be changed to flow in the heavenly channel and she be restored. But she is now in danger through inward corruption and outward temptations. Satan is at work playing a game of life for her soul, and he has every advantage in his favor of winning the game. I have been over this ground in my dreams and have been talking to you as I have written at this time. My heart yearns over you with intensity. Trying as your case is now with your daughter, do not despond. You want cheerfulness and decision. Seek for help from God. God is your friend. You are never alone. The Bible is your counselor. It is a light to them who are in darkness. Be steadfast in the hour of trial, for you will have new trials to meet. But cling to Jesus, and make Him your strength. 4LtMs, Lt 12, 1886, par. 8

Yours with respect and love. 4LtMs, Lt 12, 1886, par. 9